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Sesame seeds, known locally as Beniseed or Beneseed, have emerged as a powerhouse of economic prosperity and nutritional value in Nigeria. Cultivated primarily in Africa and India, the Sesamum indicum genus belongs to the Pedaliaceae family, showcasing its versatility in providing precious oil that constitutes 45 to 50 percent of its composition.

The Economic Boom: Nigeria’s Sesame Seed Success

Sesame seeds are more than just a dietary supplement; they are a flourishing commodity contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economy. The country has witnessed a steady rise in Sesame seed production, making it the largest producer in Africa and the third-largest globally, boasting an impressive annual output of 580,000 tonnes as of the last quarter of 2017.

Cultivation Hotspots: From the North to the Middle-Belt

Local suppliers and farmers are concentrated in the Northern regions of Jigawa, Nasarawa, and Sokoto, as well as in Middle-Belt states like Benue, Gombe, Kogi, and Plateau. The resilience of this cash crop to drought and its ability to thrive with minimal artificial fertilizer make it an attractive option for cultivation in these regions.

Diverse Varieties and Colors: The Market Dynamics

Sesame seeds come in various varieties, displaying distinctive white, brown, yellow, red, and even black colors. In Nigeria, the white and brown varieties are prevalent, with the former commanding a higher market price. This diversity opens avenues for commercial, industrial, and health-related applications.

Pricing Insights: Sesame Seed Market Trends

The Sesame seed market in Nigeria operates on a pricing structure that considers factors like color and quantity. As of now, the average price for pure white Sesame seeds stands at ₦1,300,000 NGN per tonne, while brown Sesame seeds are priced at ₦1,200,000 per tonne. For smaller quantities, the rates are ₦1,300 per kg for white Sesame seeds and ₦1,200 per kg for brown Sesame seeds.

Tabulated Pricing:

Sesame Seed Quantity Current Prices
White Per ton ₦1,300,000
Brown Per ton ₦1,200,000
White Per Kg ₦1,300
Brown Per Kg ₦1,200

Sesame Seed and Oil in Nigerian Local Markets: The Golden Seed

In local markets, Sesame seeds are often referred to as Beniseed or Beneseed, falling under the Spermatophyte division. The popularity of this golden seed is evident in the increasing demand, fostering a thriving market for both the seeds and the oil they yield.


Sesame seeds in Nigeria represent more than just an agricultural commodity; they embody economic growth, nutritional value, and diverse applications across industries. As the nation continues to excel in production and export, the sesame seed market is poised for further expansion, offering a bounty of opportunities for farmers, traders, and industries alike. Whether for culinary, health, or industrial purposes, the sesame seed stands tall, contributing to Nigeria’s agricultural success story.

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